Simon Orme writes from Sydney
From the Kiwis made Good in Oz File: Richard Wilkins
Richard Wilkins is a role model for heterosexual, kiwi males in Australia who are no longer in their ‘20s.
Wilkins is an unknown in NZ. He did a stint at Massey university in the late ‘70s, and I gather an Auckland radio
station, before moving here sometime in the ‘80s to try his luck as a singer. According to the gossip magazines, he has
some children in NZ from an earlier relationship.
But Wilkins is media royalty here, working for the Packer clan’s Nine Network, where he specialises in interviewing
visiting stars and attending glamorous parties.
Wilkins is a regular feature in the gossip mags because he also specialises in high profile romances.
This proves the enormous pulling power of A List party invites in Sydney. Plus I’m sure Richard has those Kiwi charm
Notable romances have been with Tottie Goldsmith, voluptuous presenter of the TV series “Sex”, of a few years back, and
Brooke Shields (some time ago).
Wilkins’ fame was further enhanced last weekend by a racing car battle with Strictly Ballroom’s Paul Mercurio in the
celebrity race from the Melbourne Grand Prix.
Wilkins was the hot favourite going into the race. That hooning down the Foxton straight and through the Manawatu gorge
all those years ago paid off.
But on the day, Mercurio’s dance skills - heel and toe on the brake and accelerator - and past life as a motor bike
racer, paid off. By mid-race, Mercurio was in the lead.
Near the end, Wilkins made his move, and he and Mercurio raced down the straight at 180kms neck-and-neck in identical
BMW roadsters, before Wilkins flew off the track at the bend into the kitty litter. He gunned his beemer out of the
kitty litter and on the way back on to the track just missed T boning into Mercurio’s car.
After being four back, Wilkins managed to recover to end up second and is said to have been romancing a hot new babe the
rest of the day.
A dude indeed.
© Copyright: Simon Orme 2000